WVU Tech


For our senior project we decided to take on the task of converting a used gasoline motorcycle to electric for the minimum cost using commercial off the shelf components.  The team consisted of four engineers from the mechanical engineering department.  The bike was completely researched and designed in the first semester.  Then the components were bought and the bike was built the second semester, finishing during finals week.

Project Statement:

The purpose of this project is to convert small vehicles that are used frequently, such as motorcycles, over to electric to reduce reliance on petroleum fuels and slow global climate change.

This project was focused on the final goal of converting a gasoline motorcycle that will be used for local commuting with a range that covers the average commute, which is around 20 miles. This will also be based on the assumption that this will not be the primary vehicle for the end user. It will be a vehicle for daily commuting or short trips.


  • Concept to Driving in 2 semesters.
  • Total cost of $2100
  • Range of 25 miles
  • 19 hp peak
  • 48v x 50Ah SLA Batteries
  • Charge time 8hrs with built in charger
  • 4 Person Team



Project Lead / Engineer

The SAE team at WVU Tech had competed in this design competition in previous years but due to the rules, either a new vehicle must be built or a previous vehicle must be heavily modified.  Our team decided to go the scratch route.  This consisted of designing, fundraising, obtaining the required materials, getting the proper tools, and then actually building it.  We accomplished this task in under a year.   During this process I organized meetings, recruitment, email, website updates, and participated in fabrication.

Baja SAE consists of competitions that simulate real-world engineering design projects and their related challenges. Engineering students are tasked to design and build an off-road vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of rough terrain.

The object of the competition is to provide SAE student members with a challenging project that involves the design, planning and manufacturing tasks found when introducing a new product to the consumer industrial market. Teams compete against one another to have their design accepted for manufacture by a fictitious firm. Students must function as a team to not only design, build, test, promote, and race a vehicle within the limits of the rules, but also to generate financial support for their project and manage their educational priorities.

  • Designed Fall 2007
  • Built Spring 2008
  • 10 HP Briggs and Stratton Engine
  • Hand-built Chrome-Moly Frame
  • Competed in May 2008 in Montreal, Canada